VABF

Virginia Association for Biological Farming

Pests & Weeds

Managing Insects on Your Farm: a Guide to Ecological Strategies, by  Miguel A.  Altieri and Clara I. Nicholls, with Marlene A. Fritz. 2005. USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE, http://www.sare.org, Handbook No. 7.  119 pp.  $15.95 plus shipping.This handbook covers principles and practices of ecologically based pest management, with excellent diagrams and photo illustrations showing beneficial and pest insect life cycles, and examples of farmscaping, cover cropping, and other pest management methods.  Farm feature stories illustrate principles, and extensive tables provide a wealth of information on pests, their natural enemies, and specific flowering plants that provide food and habitat for the beneficials.Steel in the Field: a Farmer’s Guide to Weed Management Tools, edited by Greg Bowman.  1997.  USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE, http://www.sare.org, Handbook No. 2.  128 pp.  $18.00 plus shipping.

This reference combines a manual describing a range of  tractor-drawn cultivation tools (including illustrations, charts showing crop and weed height ranges for which each is suited, and written description and guidelines) with a series of farm stories illustrating successful mechanical weed management systems.  The book is divided into three sections addressing agronomic crops, vegetables and other horticultural crops, and dryland farming on limited rainfall, which have special soil conservation and soil quality challenges associated with weed management.  Although a number of newer tools have been developed for specialty crops since this book was published, it is still a valuable resource for organic farmers and others who avoid or minimize the use of herbicides for weed control.

Weeds of the South, by Charles T. Bryson and Michael S. DeFelice, photographs by Arlyn W. Evans.  2009.  University of Georgia Press, Athens, GA; can be ordered through Amazon.com.  468 pp.

At last!  A complete field guide to the major agricultural weeds of the Southern region, from Texas to Virginia and Maryland; Florida and the Gulf Coast to Kentucky, West Virginia, and the southern reaches of the Corn Belt.  The manual includes a key to the plant families, a glossary of terms, and one-page descriptions for each of about 400 weed species, including photo illustrations and geographic distribution maps.

Resource Guide for Organic Insect and Disease Management, by Brian Caldwell, Emily Brown Rosen, Eric Sideman, Anthony Shelton, and Christine Smart.  2005.  New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University, http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu.  169 pp.

This manual is designed for vegetable farmers who are USDA certified organic or in transition to organic.  Sections include crop management practices for major vegetable crops, photo illustrations of main pests and diseases, in-depth fact sheets on 13 pest control materials approved by Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI, http://www.omri.org) for use on certified organic farms, and appendices on plant resistance to pests and disease, beneficial insect habitat, and trap cropping.

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